Science Fair directed by Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster is the winner of the first-ever Festival Favorite Award at the Sundance Film Festival, which ran January 18 to 28, 2018. The Award was selected by audience votes from the 123 feature films screened at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
Science Fair, which had its world premiere at the 2018 Festival, follows nine high school students from around the globe as they navigate rivalries, setbacks, and of course, hormones, on their journey to compete at the international science fair. As they face off against 1,700 of the smartest, quirkiest teens from 78 different countries, only one will be named Best in Fair. The film was directed by Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster, and produced by Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster, Jeffrey.
John Cooper, Director, Sundance Film Festival, said “Audiences responded to the hope in this film, and how it thoughtfully depicted a rising generation of innovators. The film was so engaging and inspiring that we felt it would delight audiences and be a strong contender for this award.”
Runners-up for the Festival Favorite, as ballots were counted, included:
Believer / U.S.A. (Director: Don Argott, Producers: Heather Parry, Sheena M. Joyce, Robert Reynolds) — Imagine Dragons’ Mormon frontman Dan Reynolds is taking on a new mission to explore how the church treats its LGBTQ members. With the rising suicide rate amongst teens in the state of Utah, his concern with the church’s policies sends him on an unexpected path for acceptance and change. World Premiere
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? / U.S.A. (Director: Morgan Neville, Producers: Caryn Capotosto, Nicholas Ma) — Fred Rogers used puppets and play to explore complex social issues: race, disability, equality and tragedy, helping form the American concept of childhood. He spoke directly to children and they responded enthusiastically. Yet today, his impact is unclear. Have we lived up to Fred’s ideal of good neighbors? World Premiere. SALT LAKE CITY OPENING NIGHT FILM
Other strong-showing audience favorites included:
Assassination Nation / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sam Levinson, Producers: David S. Goyer, Anita Gou, Kevin Turen, Aaron L. Gilbert, Matthew J. Malek) — This is a one-thousand-percent true story about how the quiet, all-American town of Salem absolutely lost its mind. Cast: Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, Abra, Bill Skårsgard, Bella Thorne. World Premiere
Hearts Beat Loud / U.S.A. (Director: Brett Haley, Screenwriters: Brett Haley, Marc Basch, Producers: Houston King, Sam Bisbee, Sam Slater) — In Red Hook, Brooklyn, a father and daughter become an unlikely songwriting duo in the last summer before she leaves for college. Cast: Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson, Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner, Toni Collette. World Premiere. CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Juliet, Naked / United Kingdom (Director: Jesse Peretz, Screenwriters: Tamara Jenkins, Jim Taylor, Phil Alden Robinson, Evgenia Peretz, Producers: Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa, Jeffrey Soros) — Annie is the long-suffering girlfriend of Duncan, an obsessive fan of obscure rocker Tucker Crowe. When the acoustic demo of Tucker’s celebrated record from 25 years ago surfaces, its release leads to an encounter with the elusive rocker himself. Based on the novel by Nick Hornby. Cast: Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, Chris O’Dowd. World Premiere
What They Had / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Elizabeth Chomko, Producers: Keith Kjarval, Bill Holderman, Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa, Alex Saks, Andrew Duncan)— Bridget returns home to Chicago at her brother’s urging to deal with her mother’s Alzheimer’s and her father’s reluctance to let go of their life together. Cast: Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner, Robert Forster. World Premiere
The 2019 Sundance Film Festival will take place January 24 to February 3, 2019.
Image: A film still from Science Fair directed by Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster, an official selection of the Kids program at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Pete Alton.